Samui Wining & Dining
Quintessentially Q
Samui’s Q Bar shines all the time, not just at New Year!


Quintessentially QSamui has some super-chic spots. There are luxury resorts in secluded bays. There are spas which will take your breath away. Haute cuisine abounds in some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere. You’ll see many top-rate best musicians playing here. And, when it comes to night-spots there are discos and lounges and bars all over. But this is where things get a bit tangled up. There’s a world of difference between a bouncing beer bar and a smooth and laid-back international night club. There’s not a whole lot of the latter to be found here. But the one that’s really up there, quite literally, is Q Bar Samui.


And quite rightly so. It’s hard to miss. Unlike most of Chaweng’s other attractions, ‘Q Bar’ isn’t either in the region of the Soi Green Mango nor is it making a splash somewhere along Chaweng Beach Road. It’s just a little way away. But anywhere that you have a view of the hills above Chaweng Lake you’ll instantly notice the huge glowing ‘Q’ that seems to float up in the night sky. It’s actually a few hundred metres up a hill and accessed by a steeply-rising road spurring up from the Lake Road – just tell any taxi and they’ll take you there right away. In actual fact, you don’t even need to do that. Because, if you give them a call they’ll come and pick you up – for free.


Samui’s Q Bar has been wowing the aficionados of the Thailand club-scene since it first appeared here in 2006. It was actually an extension of Bangkok’s Q Bar, which was established way back in 1998. But a more-diverse incarnation was projected; one which also catered for holidaymakers as well as city night owls and party-people. This is now what you’ll discover here on Samui; a very smooth and refined setting but one in which everyone feels at home.


And if you’re impressed by looking up to that big ‘Q’ in the sky then just imagine what it’s like looking down from up there. Q Bar has one of the most dramatic panoramas on the island and certainly the best in all of Chaweng. And, to take full advantage of this, you can enjoy the spectacular sunsets, particularly if you head there a little after 5:00 pm, when the club opens. Well, although it has the deserved reputation of being one of the Coolest Clubs (with capital ‘C’s!) outside of Bangkok, the more ‘hip’ side of things doesn’t really get moving until later in the night. Meaning that, when it comes to sundowners and chilling for a while, this is the place to be when those fluffy clouds start to turn golden.


It’s a great place to eat, too. The upper floor is quiet and cool, being air-conditioned and with a wall of glass that divides this area from the balcony-terrace outside. The furnishings are soft and sumptuous, with gigantic day beds and sofas, and the sounds are low and mellow. It’s a perfect setting to explore the satisfying range of dishes that include homemade pizzas, several salads (including a splendid spicy Thai seafood salad) chicken wings and potato wedges. And these are all available throughout the night, too.


But it’s during the nighttime that Q Bar really starts to shine. It’s been described as, “… a little bit of the New York club scene come to Samui, via Bangkok.” And, in line with this image, everything remains cool until around about midnight. That’s when the movers and the shakers start to appear in their numbers – although by then the resident or visiting DJs have been working steadily for several hours already. Q Bar has a reputation for being one of the leading names on the Thailand party scene and regularly imports live bands and internationally-prominent DJs for their parties, such as DJ Modego who recently guested here for a spell.


As you’ll have gathered, there’s an upper and a lower floor. And it’s on the lower level that all the fun goes on. This is where you’ll find the dance floor and the darkened and raised DJ’s platform. But the aspect that immediately makes an impression is where the bar is, over on the left as you enter. And that’s because it’s one entire wall with a counter in front and what looks like a thousand illuminated bottles filling the whole wall-space behind. It’s a tippler’s paradise. There are no fewer than 50 different brands of vodka alone, all of them kept at a refreshing -4˚C. There are 20 different sorts of tequila. Numerous absinthes. And even the spectacular Goldschlager – a hard-to-find a Swiss cinnamon schnapps that’s diffused throughout with tiny spangled flakes of real gold leaf.


As well as the regular visiting bands and DJs, Q Bar is renowned for its lavish and dramatic turn-of-year parties. Last year they featured the legendary Brandon Block, who’s been described as ‘The Father of House Music’. Plus, alongside him, was an equally-iconic figure, that of Ibiza DJ and international producer, Jon Jak. Not to mention the various live musicians who were jamming-along on percussion and sax. At the time of writing, there were no details of this New Year’s extravaganza, but this is one night that things don’t start off quietly and build up – it’s busy right from the start.


This is probably the highlight of Q Bar’s year and the sheer blend of revellers, both young and not-so-young, make for a party that’s one of the most popular on the island. It’s the night when you’ll see folks outside, lined up and waiting to get in, so a reservation is an absolute must. Fortunately, you can do that online, via their website, as well as turning up in person a day or so beforehand.


At Q Bar, the music’s cool. The food is great. The lounge is luxurious, the drinks, exotic. They throw a party like there’s no tomorrow and stay open late. And, if this wasn’t more than enough, there’s one other thought to keep in mind. When the whole coast erupts at midnight on the 31st December with a million fireworks, they’ve got the best view, too.


Rob De Wet


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